That’s what comes from not attending enough Trump rallies. One misses the most spectacular, if sobering revelations — though nothing to do with fabled Biblical epiphanies. Look at the Trump campaign’s favored religious figure to kick off his re-election rally a few weeks ago: Pentecostal pastor Paula White.
Doesn’t ring any bells? What, did you also escape that crowd-lite Trump inauguration gala when she was awarded top billing and high prominence? Pastor White is not a household name, except in the televangelist world where she has rock-star status. Few are chosen, yet today she fulfills her own fundamentalist wealth gospel fantasy. Overcoming an impoverished childhood and struggles as a single mom, today she is flush with fame, fortune and riches, enjoying designer clothes and a lavish lifestyle befitting any modest acolyte in the Church of Jesus.
Par for the course, Pastor White is the ultimate Trump-world loyalist. And without self-governance. She not only believes Satan is palpably real, lurking in the shadows, but so transparently visible that righteous believers can pinpoint the Devil’s exact whereabouts. Bingo, per White, existent in “every demonic network that has aligned itself” against Trump. “Against Trump,” for this zealot, specifies any voice anywhere who won’t fall over itself cheering on everything this president does — or claims to do.
Most of you, like me, wonder in our spare moments who’d possibly qualify as “personal spiritual adviser” for our best, most spiritual president since Lincoln. Just because he’s the least Christian-acting, most predatory, most foul-mouthed White House occupant doesn’t mean he’s resistant to the right “adviser” to guide moral improvements. His defective character is a gold mine for any gold-digging, wealth-promising preacher.
Who trusts advisers?
I thought this unhinged president (a commonplace rolling off the tongue) needs a permanent therapist, too, but that’s another topic. We know he knows in his gutty gut there’s only one best adviser, the only creature he totally trusts: his inerrant self. That aside, let’s inquire why Trump campaign forces selected this fundamentalist, devil-obsessed Pentecostal pastor to set the tone for re-election campaign rally.
For the record, this latest gig pick crowns a love-fest relationship Trump initiated in early 2000s when he effused over White’s preaching, telling her, “You’re fantastic; you’ve got the ‘it’ factor.” You don’t think some of this was about her last name, good looks or skin color, befitting his latter-day racial prejudices? Nah, only one wannabe celebrity anointing another. Isn’t citing the “It” factor a peculiar endorsement of a minister on the rise (unless from an extreme secularist)? Is not this “it” factor what craven Hollywood operatives leverage when promoting the latest starlet/sexpot into a profit machine?
But no one can fault Trump for inconsistency: the loaded way he praised White 20 years ago is how he talks about his extraordinary, peerless friends and appointees: they’re all fantastic, incredible, unbelievable, why, almost as great and glorious as he. Are there doubts his charisma has more “it” factor than any other politician?
Really, does Trump know how to pick fellow-travelers or what? Does he have an unnerving eye for the showiest performers, if not someone he can parlay to benefit this self-interests? Nothing gets by this genius, nor his appetite for romance.
Okay, divisiveness be damned, so to speak. What another conclusion will good Christians draw when embracing White’s specious projections every (presumably subversive, heretical) demonic “network” is aligned against Trump. It’s hard to separate who is the greater hustler: the ruthless president whose spiritual impulses come down to boundless ambition— or this formidable wheeler-dealer “spiritual” leader whose notion of good works is to confirm the saintly Trump walks on water while his critics stumble with Satan.
On days like this, I wish Satan weren’t a mythic or folk concoction reared to scare children — that he would come forth and clarify (hopefully in English, not his renowned gibberish) whether he’s for or against Trump. I suspect if he exists he’s simply watching, in bemusement, knowing none of his wayward flock could produce more chaos in less time than today’s pretend/chaos president. Now, who wouldn’t yearn to see that fascinating Congressional hearing, with bells and whistles and fire and brimstone —the likes of which no TV cable anchor ever covered.
Here’s a president whose historic legacy will surpass mere hypocrisy and win all prizes for openly flaunting his impunity from penalty. Whether boasting about his genius, utter lack of racism, being the best president since Lincoln (with the most “wins”), or knowing more about combat than a bevy of generals (despite draft dodging), I wouldn’t be shocked to hear him say, “Some spiritual leaders say I am such a good Christian, only Jesus is better.” And all those (millions) who say otherwise simply convict themselves as pushing Satan’s anti-Trump line.
Does such bizarre circular reasoning really continue to work politically? What a leap into unreality, treating Trump not only America’s savior, but in the running to sit on the right side of God, perhaps chiming in to help separate good from evil. Then, nothing will stop him from doing whatever he damn well pleases. Won’t that be fun, when God’s voice on earth doesn’t have to worry about man-made laws, whether the Constitution, legalities, even the Ten Commandments. All His Divinity has to do is declare such restrictions for this special messenger are for losers. And if evangelicals know anything, it’s how to separate winners from losers or, in their jargon, pre-determined elect from the irredeemably damned. What delusion of grandeur is next, especially if re-elected? Paula White with a high cabinet post?